Local bowling alley thru an out of state P.R. firm printed 15,000 coupons using my phone # XXXXX a prefix of 888. When locals call the # XXXXX the 888 prefix it comes to me. Incessantly. Local business owner & P.R. Firm stated there's nothing they can do, the coupons are out & offered no possible solutions. NOTHING!60 days later I still receive these annoying calls daily. My patience, time & usage minuets are at end. The coupons are still plentiful in the local markets & are valid until 9-30-12 aren't I lucky.Do I have a leg to stand on & what is it. PLEASE HELP.Sincerely XXXXX XXXXX id listener who's losing his patience.Thanks, Jeff
Country relating to Question: United States
State (if USA): Washington
Local bowling alley thru an out of state P.R. firm printed 15,000 coupons using my phone # XXXX a prefix of 888. When locals call the # XXXXXXX the 888 prefix it comes to me. Incessantly. Local business owner & P.R. Firm stated there's nothing they can do, the coupons are out & offered no possible solutions. NOTHING!
60 days later I still receive these annoying calls daily. My patience, time & usage minuets are at end. The coupons are still plentiful in the local markets & are valid until
Hello, and thank you for contacting Just Answer.
Unfortunately, this is going to be a tough one to fix, at least through the legal system. First, non-legal solutions might be to either (a) wait it out and hope that it stops at some point soon (hopefully the coupons expire soon), or (b) change your phone number. However, obviously neither of these options seem optimal or fair because it was not your fault that the number got printed on coupons.
The problem, however, is that it is going to be hard to prove that the bowling alley or PR firm did anything illegal.
If the 888 number was available and the bowling alley does have that number, then they are not doing anything illegal by posting it to coupons.
Now, there may be an argument that you could make for negligence.
If the bowling alley either doesn't actually have that number (it is a wrong number), or there was something in the add that doesn't make it clear the customer has to dial 888 first, you could argue that the bowling alley and/or pr firm was negligent.
In order to show negligence, you would have to show (1) that a duty of care was owed (not to falsely print your number or make it clear that the number was an 888 number), (2) that the duty of care was breached, (3) that damages occurred (using up all of your minutes), and (4) that the damages were foreseeable.
Legality was never the question. Liability was, in regards XX XXXXX apparent unwillingness to retract the coupons once notified, which I did to both the local co. as well as the hired promotional co?
That is what I am speaking to in my negligence discussion. You could try and show liability for negligence. In order for a person or company to have liability, there must be a specific civil rule of law that can be cited as breached. Negligence is the closest thing that I can think of that would be applicable here and through which you can claim that the bowling alley or pr firm is liable to you.
Having said that, if the bowling alley actually does have the same number as you, just with an 888 prefix, and printed the proper number with the 888 prefix on the coupons, it is going to be tough to show that they were negligent, because technically the printed the proper phone number (again assuming they actually have this phone number).
I can certainly understand why you would be frustrated, what you describe would be very maddening.
Having said that, unfortunately it does not mean that they are liable to you. Generally, liable has to come from a bad or negligent act.
As there is no evidence of an intentionally bad act, we look to negligence as a possibility. If you could show that they were somehow negligent, you may be able to claim liability for your damages, but if the number printed is an actual phone number that they have a right to, and it was properly printed on the ads that may be hard to do.
NO,no the P.R. firm secured the 888 # XXX the promotion, as luck would have it, that 888# XX XXXX my local #. My question is once notified of the problem, what their responsibility, reasonably, to correct the situation.
Right, but if the phone number was secured properly, then the PR firm has that phone number and has a right to use it or publish it as they see fit. So long as they are not printing the wrong number, then they arguably do not have any responsibility to correct the situation. If you can show that they either did not print the 888, or in some way did not make it clear that the 888 had to be dialed, that is where a suit for negligence would come in. But if they have the phone number with 888, and clearly printed the phone number with 888, it will be very difficult to show that they have any responsibility to change anything. They are allowed to publish their phone number.
Ultimately, that is why I said previously that this would be tough. If they (meaning either the bowling alley or the pr firm) secured the rights to the 888 number, they are allowed to publish that phone number. I would agree that this is unlucky for you and certainly unfair, but again, to show liability or to argue that the pr firm or the bowling alley owes some responsibility to you, you have to be able argue that they either committed a bad act intentionally or negligently. It will be hard to convince any court that publishing a phone number that they have a right to is a bad act.
You are welcome, and let me know if you have any further questions.
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as I've always taught my children life isn't always that bowl full of cherries we wanted.
That is all too true. I wish the best of luck, and hopefully the calls stop soon.
Licensed to practice law, I have experience in dealing with a wide variety of legal issues.
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